DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I am an average geekboy looking for love. Okay, not quite average. For one, I’m looking to find love with another geekboy. For two, I’m transgender. I used to be The Nerd Girl who a lot of guys idolised, which was awkward for all parties, because she didn’t exist – I was pretending I could be the perfect girl as much as they were.
Now, well, I’m in my twenties and I’m happier in my body and I’m lonely. I want a boyfriend. But I don’t know how to find one. Where are the actual gays among the guys who used to call things gay? And moreover, how can I find a nice gay geek boy who doesn’t treat my gender issues as an intellectual exercise to be pondered, explored, and constantly discussed – I’m not a science project.
Shouldn’t Be This Hard
DEAR SHOULDN’T BE THIS HARD: So, like I told Jammed Gaydar yesterday, I want to give an obvious caveat: I’m a straight cis dude. This means I’m not going to have the same perspective or experiences as a gay, trans ma, and there may well be aspects that I miss or wouldn’t have thought to bring up. As per usual, I recommend taking my advice with suitable amounts of salt.
I also want to invite my LGBTQ readers — especially those who sleep with men — to share their thoughts on where and how you could find yourself a nice gay geeky boyfriend.
So with that all in mind: good news! As time and society has moved on, geek culture’s had the doors blown clean off and there’re more and more LGBTQ geeks of all stripes and gender identities out there. While the culture still has issues, especially surrounding trans folks (see, also: Rowling, J.K) there are plenty of bi and gay geeks out there, as well as trans men and women across the sexual spectrum. Some of them may keep their heads down in their daily lives since society still has a problem with gender norms and sexual identity, but they’re definitely there to be found.
Now, I’m going to be honest: the fact that there’re more and more open queer and trans geeks — not to mention high-profile LGBTQ geek YouTubers, Twitch streamers, TikTokers etc. — there’re still folks out there who get weird about trans people. There’re gay men out there who’re capable of being just as shitty about trans folks as straight men can be. There’re also people who are cool with it in concept, but who may not have had much exposure to trans people in person and may not necessarily be as familiar with the day to day realities of a trans person’s life.
As a result, some folks — guys with the best intentions at heart — may want or need a little time and may not realize that they’re making you uncomfortable by treating you as The Representative For All Trans People.
That, needless to say, can be a bit awkward. It may well be a dealbreaker for you and hey, that’s completely legit.
If it’s not, then you may need to be a little patient at first – sometimes the well-meaning don’t realize that they’re being a little intrusive and need the occasional prodding to get the point – but don’t be afraid to set some firm boundaries.
Of course, all of this is well and good but doesn’t necessarily help on a practical level — that is: actually FINDING a gay, bi or pansexual geek who’s looking to date and wants to date you, specifically.
The first thing I would tell you is that you’re going to have better luck in larger cities; if you’re living in Dog’s Breath, Arkansas, you may very well find that the total LGBTQ population is in the single digits. Just based on sheer population, the more people who live there, the more men who sleep with men there will be. Certain cities are going to have a larger and more vibrant queer population – New York and San Francisco obviously, but also Seattle, Portland, Austin, Houston, Phoenix and Boston all have significant gay communities. The larger the communities, the more gay, bi and pan geeks you’re going to find. In addition, the more liberal and cosmopolitan the city, the more likely that you’re going to find a population that’s going to treat your gender identity as a non-issue.
The next – and really, obvious – step to finding the people you want to date is to go where the people you want to date hang out. This means you may want to get involved in the local geek community, especially in an organizational role. If there’s a convention held in your area, getting involved with that can be a good way of getting to know lots of geeks really damn fast.
Like I’ve said before: the more you involve yourself in your passions, the more you’re going to meet people who share those passions and who you’re going to be compatible with. Even if you’re not necessarily meeting people who are boyfriend material right off the bat, you’re going to be meeting cool people who will also know cool people and can introduce you to them.
It’s also worth getting involved with the local LGBTQ community and attending groups and meetups specifically for gay, bi and pan men — queer amateur sports leagues, hiking groups, even tabletop gaming groups. While this doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to meet queer male geeks, it will definitely increase the number of folks you’re meeting and help expand your social circle… which in turn, helps increase the number of folks you meet who you may well want to date.
Beyond that, I recommend that you pursue online dating – after all, you can screen for geeks or the geek-curious very easily in your profile. OKCupid is an obvious choice, as are apps like Grindr, but you may also want to look into dating sites for people who are specifically looking for (or open to) dating trans men.
Another possibility, and one that’s a bit outside the box: don’t forget MMOs. It’s easy to forget that the friendships and relationship people make in MMOs are real and valid. While I don’t recommend using them as a DATING app, per se, more people have met, dated and married because of World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV than Grindr and Tinder.
It can take some time and effort but if you stack the deck as much as possible (big city, online dating, involvement in the geek community) in your favor, you’ll start meeting some awesome geek boys soon.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org